A rumor that has been circulating for several days appears to have been confirmed: the joint venture of mobile carriers (previously called Isis) will launch in its two test cities (Austin and Salt Lake City) on Monday October 22, 2012. The rumor received some credibility when the Wall Street Journal reported it today. Also, the twitter account @paywithisis, which is unverified but appears to be legitimate, tweeted this today, “It’s official: We’re launching in Austin and SLC on Oct. 22”
It is important to note that the web site has no press releases regarding an October 22 launch date as of today.
The WSJ article reports the following:
A spokeswoman for the joint venture declined to provide additional details.
The WSJ article did not mention the tweet, but did add the single new datapoint:
(We) will allow consumers to make purchases by tapping smartphones equipped with a special computer chip against a merchant payment terminal. The service will be available on as many as 20 types of handsets by year-end, Jaymee Johnson, head of marketing for the service, said in a statement Wednesday.
Beginning October 22, 2012, customers in our first trial markets – Salt lake City, UT and Austin, TX, can use the Isis wallet to experience the future of shopping
The NFC forum reports:
Analyst firm Berg Insight recently reported that global sales of NFC-enabled handsets increased tenfold in 2011 to 30 million units. The same report states that NFC handset shipments are growing at a compound annual rate of 87.8% and forecasts that shipments will reach 700 million units in 2016. Deloitte predicts there will be 300 million NFC-enabled devices sold in 2013.
So is it really going to launch on Monday? We will know for sure on Tuesday.